Payam Javan: While senators debate whether sanctions against a major Russian natural gas pipeline project should be reinstated, it has been revealed that a prominent lobbyist for the Nord Stream 2 project has been flooding key Democrats with campaign cash.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of them, according to Axios. According to Politico, Schumer labeled Republican plans for sanctions that may halt the recently built pipeline “inexplicable and outrageous” this week.
Supporters of Ukraine are also against the line. The fact that much of Russia’s existing natural gas supply system passes via Ukraine is seen as a possible deterrent to a Russian invasion. According to The Washington Post, without the necessity to protect their pipeline system, Ukraine becomes a target, and concerns spread.
Republican senators did not agree and attached an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that put Trump’s sanctions back in place.
While that discussion continues, Axios reports that Vincent Roberti, a former Connecticut state representative, has donated $5,800 to Democratic Senators Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Patty Murray of Washington, the highest amount authorized. New Hampshire Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan got the maximum primary contribution of $2,90, Cortez Masto, and Hassan could face tough re-election challenges in 2022.
According to Reuters, six Republican senators, led by Idaho’s Jim Risch, have proposed an amendment to the NDAA that would restore sanctions on the project.
According to Radio Liberty, an attempt to conclude debate on the NDAA without the amendment failed 45-51, falling short of the 60 votes needed to bring it forward.
Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, has stated that the measure will not move forward unless the Nord Stream 2 sanctions amendment is included.
“Considering sanctions on the pipeline that fuels [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s encroachment over Europe, including provisions from Senator [Jim] Risch that closely mirror language that the House added unanimously, is certainly worth the Senate’s time,” McConnell stated.
Biden and the Democrats, according to Risch, are doing Putin’s bidding.
He said according to Ted Cruz’s news release, “Putin is also publicly warning European Union leaders to quickly certify NS2 if they want relief from Europe’s worst gas crisis in years,” and that Russia is “creating and weaponizing this energy crisis.”